Artemisia tilesii

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Artemisia tilesii
Tall Wormwood (7833472536).jpg
Conservation status

Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Dicotyledons
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Species: A. tilesii
Binomial name
Artemisia tilesii

Artemisia elatior
Artemisia gormanii
Artemisia hookeriana
Artemisia hultenii
Artemisia unalaskensis

Artemisia tilesii is a species of flowering plant in the aster family, Asteraceae. Its common names include Tilesius' wormwood,[1] Aleutian mugwort,[2] and stinkweed.[3] It is native to Russia, Japan, and northern North America, including Canada and the northwestern United States.[2]


This species is a perennial herb growing from a tough rhizome. It produces one to three stems up to 80 centimeters in maximum height. The stems may be white with a coating of woolly hairs. The leaves and inflorescences are quite variable, and the species is sometimes divided into several subtaxa based on these differences. The leaves are often bicolored white and green with the distribution of hairs on the surfaces. The inflorescence may be small and compact or wide, open, and branching. Each bell shaped flower head is about half a centimeter long and lined with purplish phyllaries. It contains many yellow flowers.[4]

The plant is aromatic, with a scent that inspired the common name "stinkweed" but is considered agreeable to some people.[3] It can be mild[4] or strong enough to overpower the smell of fish.[3]

In experiments, simulated acid rain droplets were neutralized by the leaves of the plant, possibly due to the presence of various cations such as calcium.[5]


The cultivar 'Ciaggluk' was developed in Alaska for use in revegetation and erosion control. It tolerates a range of soil pH and can grow on waste land made toxic by mining operations. It is easy to grow and attractive. Caiggluk is the Yupik name for the wild plant.[3]

This plant has a number of historical uses in the traditional medicine systems of Alaska Native peoples. It has been used to treat fever, infection, tumors, arthritis and other joint pains, bleeding, congestion, and tuberculosis, and as a laxative and general tonic.[6]

Native Alaskans also used the plant as a deodorizer after the preparation of fish. It was used in steambaths and sweat lodges. They chewed it with tobacco and ate the roots with seal oil.[6]


  1. ^ Artemisia tilesii. Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).
  2. ^ a b Artemisia tilesii. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).
  3. ^ a b c d Hunt, P. and S. Wright. 'Caiggluk' Tilesius’ Wormwood (Stinkweed): Artemisia tilesii. Alaska Department of Natural Resources. July 17, 2007.
  4. ^ a b Artemisia tilesii. Flora of North America.
  5. ^ Adams, C. M. and T. C. Hutchinson. (1984). A comparison of the ability of leaf surfaces of three species to neutralize acidic rain drops. New Phytologist 97(3), 463-78.
  6. ^ a b Artemisia tilesii. Native American Ethnobotany. University of Michigan, Dearborn.

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